Apichatpong’s Selected Shorts, 1994 – present

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Originally 16mm, Digital, 4:3, Mono, B/W / 5:19 minutes / 1994

 

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Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves (aka Mae Ya Nang)

Originally 16mm, re-edited on transfer to Digital in 1996, Mono, B/W / 22:37 minutes / 1994

 

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thirdworld  (aka Goh Gayasit)

Shot on 16mm, Digital, 4:3, Stereo, B/W / 16:38 minutes / 1997

 

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Malee and the Boy

Digital, 4:3, Stereo, Colour / 26:45 minutes / 1999

Originally called Malee and the Boy and His Microphone and a Hungry Satan, this is a collaborative project dealing with image/sound apparatus. The subject is a 10 year-old boy who is in charge of the microphone. He roams to places around Bangkok to gather sounds for the video. The sound indicates the direction he headed during the filming and displays his point of interests. The filmmaker is in charge of the image, film roughly along at the boy’s locations. The narrative of the film, presented in texts, is taken from a Thai comic book available around the place of the filming. This faces and places documentation can be viewed as a one-afternoon diary of a day out in Bangkok.

 

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Windows

Digital, 4:3, Silent, Colour / 11:56 minutes / 1999

Windows is an improvisation using a little physical movement to capture natural phenomena through the camera eye’s mechanism.

 

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Nokia Short

Nokia Video Phone, 4:3, Stereo, Colour / 2 minutes / 2003

Director / Camera / Editor: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Sound Collaborator: Masato Hatanaka

 

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This and a Million More Lights

Digital, 4:3, Silent, Colour / 1 minute / 2003

A strobing fluorescent light inter-cuts scenes from an urban swimming pool; a young boy tempts the water.

 

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Haunted Houses

Digital, 4:3, Stereo, colour / 60 minutes / 2001

Haunted Houses is one of the four works that Apichatpong deals with various forms of media addiction in the Thai cultural landscape. In this particular work, the narrative was directly scripted from two episodes of a popular Thai military television channel called Tong Prakaisad. The series mainly deals with love and the problems of the wealthy. The filmmaker then traveled to the villages near his home and asked villagers to participate by acting, according to the script.

All 66 villagers from six villages participated resuming roles. The story was continuous, but the actors who played the characters were constantly changed as the filming location moved from one village to another.

 

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Worldly Desires

Digital, 16:9, Stereo, Colour / 42:32 minutes / 2005

A couple escaped their family to look for a spiritual tree in the jungle. There is a song at night, a song that spoke about an innocent idea of love and a quest for happiness.

Worldly Desires is an experimental project where I invited a filmmaker friend, Pimpaka Towira, to shoot the love story by day and the song by night. The story, Deep Red Bloody Night, was written by my assistant who wanted to reprise a forbidden love story in a more romantic time in the past. I picked a pop song, Will I be Lucky? to convey a sense of guiltless freedom one feels when being hit by love. The video is a little simulation of manners, dedicated to the memories of filmmaking in the jungle during the year 2001-2005. (AW)

 

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My Mother’s Garden

Digital, 4:3, Silent, Colour / 6:42 minutes / 2007

The film is an impression of a Jewelry collection by Victoire de Castellane. The pieces in the collection are inspired by various types of dangerous flowers and carnivorous plants. Each piece has a hidden mechanical movement. Most of the film’s image comprise of extreme close-up shots of the jewelries. The film is also a tribute to a garden of the filmmaker’s mother, with wild orchid’s roots, bugs and various organisms.

 

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Vampire (สัตว์วิกาล Sud Vikal)

Digital, 16:9, Dolby 5.1, Colour / 19 minutes / 2008

Somewhere along the border of Thailand and Burma lives a creature called Nok Phii (Ghost Bird). Or there used to live one.

If exists, apart from the Vampire Finch of the Galápagos Islands, Nok Phii would be the only species of bird that feeds on other animals’ blood. In several of the local tales, Nok Phii is portrayed as an aggressive nocturnal predator. In some stories, it even attacks human. In 2007, a sighting of a male and female Nok Phii in a remote mountain was reported by the villagers in the north of Thailand. There was a speculation that this was the only pair left in the world. This supposedly small with large eyes bird has never been captured, dead or alive. There are no remains. Without concrete evidence, this rare bird might only be an imaginary animal associated with alluring danger and mythical aura. VAMPIRE is a dream of the strange avian and its habitat, an impression of a voyage to capture this unusual treasure on film.

 

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Mobile Men

35mm (blow-up from digital), Digital copy available for exhibition, 16:9, Dolby 5.1, Colour / 3:15 minutes / 2008

Mobile Men is part of Stories on Human Rights by Filmmakers, Artists and Writers, a project marking the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 22 short films for the project are inspired by the six themes of the Universal Declaration: culture, development, dignity and justice, environment, gender and participation. Among the other participating artists and filmmakers were Marina Abramović, Sergej Bodrov, Jia Zhangke, Idrissa Ouédraogo, Pippilotti Rist, Abderrahmane Sissako, Pablo Trapero and Jasmila Žbanić. The project was an initiative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, produced by Art for the World, curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg. European Premiere at Théâtre National de Chaillot, 10 December 2008.

Two young men in a pickup truck are filming themselves. Belonging to different parts of the world, through the use of a camera they are discovering each other. In a windy atmosphere, they initially film each other with close ups on parts of their bodies, then, little by little, they shoot their full figures. As the camera lenses change, a landscape of rice fields and a cinema crew get into the frame. The camera then reshoots the road and the men, as if we were witnessing a film rehearsal. When the frame goes back to shoot one of the two main characters who has tattoos over his body, the man lifts his shirt up and tears off a wired microphone that is taped to his chest. He then pastes it on the tattoo and cries out from the top of his lungs. The microphone picks up the heavy wind noise and the camera moves to captures his face. He looks directly at the camera, smiling.

 

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Empire

35 mm/1.78:1/colour, no dialogue / 2 minutes / 2010

EMPIRE is a film about searching and finding. As the camera feels its way along the walls of a cave or grotto, we see a diver wearing a gleaming white helmet and a hand diving into the sand to pick up some shells, playfully sliding them through his fingers. The images are accompanied by a polyphonic roaring, hammering and rattling. Has the diver been looking for something and has someone else found it?

 

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Monsoon

Phone Cam + Computer Cam to HD Digital, Color, Stereo / 3:11 minutes / 2011

Award-winning director Naomi Kawase initiated a project in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the Tohoku region of Japan on 11 March 2011. The result is an anthology of films, all 3 minutes 11 seconds in duration, addressing the theme of home. From Apichatpong Weerasethakula’s Monsoon, to Jia Zhang-ke’s Alone Together to Naomi Kawase’s own contribution Home, this is a deeply personal and moving dedication to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami, and a poignant reminder of the universal significance of home.

 

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ASHES

Digital, HD, Shot with LomoKino with 35mm still films, Stereo / 20:18 minutes / 2012

In ASHES, Apichatpong contemplates love, pleasure, and destruction of memory. Everyday life’s surroundings are shared with extreme intimacy. In his view, Thailand, while is full of beauty, is slowly collapsing into darkness.

 

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Sakda (Rousseau)

HD, Colour, Dolby SRD / 5:30 minutes / 2012

A dim light, a few guitar chords, a man is whispering into a microphone and his voice is now coming from a recording machine set on the banks of the Mekong River. This mysterious essay revisits the subjects of reincarnation, memory and fantasy, topics that are dear to the Thai filmmaker.

Rousseau’s writings inspired the filmmaker to reflect on the society in which he lives – Thailand. He has always been interested in its ideas of belonging and the relations between people and nature. His film focuses on a reincarnation of the philosopher who doesn’t know if he will manage to keep his memory and is asking himself, “One his voice and his image have been captured by the camera, who do they belong to? Is he the owner?”

 

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Cactus River (aka Khong Lang Nam)

Digital (1920 x 1440) B&W, Colour , Stereo / 10:09 minutes / 2012

Since she appeared in my film in 2009, Jenjira Pongpas has changed her name. Like many Thais, she is convinced that the new name will bring her good luck. So Jenjira has become Nach, which means water. Not long after, she was drifting online and encountered a retired soldier, Frank, from Cuba, New Mexico, USA. A few months later they got married and she has officially become Mrs. Nach Widner.

The newlyweds found a house near the Mekong River where Nach had grown up. She spends most of her day crocheting baby socks for sale, while he enjoys gardening and watching television (Sometimes without the sound because most of the programs are in Thai).

Cactus River is a diary of the time I visited the couple – of the various temperaments of the water and the wind. The flow of the two rivers – Nach and the Mekong, activates my memories of the place where I shot several films. Over many years, this woman whose name was once Jenjira has introduced me to this river, her life, its history, and to her belief about its imminent future. She is certain that soon there will be no water in the river due to the upstream constructions of dams in China and Laos. I noticed too, that Jenjira was no more. (AW)